Complaining about NHS dental treatment
If you wish to make a complaint about a dentist or dental practice, try to resolve it directly with them first. Contact the dental surgery’s practice manager with details of your complaint. You can complain in writing, by email or by speaking to someone.
Your complaint must be made within 12 months of receiving treatment.
If you would rather not go directly to the practice, you can contact NHS England, which is responsible for NHS dental services.
If you’re not happy with the way your complaint was handled – either by the dental practice or NHS England – you may wish to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).
The PHSO makes the final decision on complaints that haven’t been resolved by NHS England. You can call on 0345 015 4033 or use the PHSO’s secure online form to raise your complaint (this only applies to NHS services in England).
You can find further information and support for making a complaint from:
- a hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service, if your treatment was carried out in a hospital
- Citizens Advice
- the Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the CQC does not settle individual disputes, but your feedback about a practice helps it to decide when, where and what to inspect
Complaining about private dental treatment
If you wish to make a complaint about private dental services, contact the practice manager of the private dental surgery. Your complaint must be made within 12 months of receiving treatment.
If your complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, you may want to consider contacting the General Dental Council, which sets standards of conduct and regulates all dental professionals in the UK. It may be able to investigate your concerns.
You can also contact the Dental Complaints Service on 020 8253 0800 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or visit its website for more information.
Read the answers to more questions about dental health.